Friday, 1 November 2013

Hidden themes in The Wolverine, racism appropriation, orientalism ,war guilt, sexism, lotus flower.-very rough.

Having recently watched the new Wolverine film, set mainly in Japan a number of issues with the the film bothered me. One was the depiction of women , another was the way Japanese men and japanese sexuality was depicted. With the film linking violence and rape and misogyny to Japanese culture and fears of asian corporation influence over American values. Wolverine even fights a giant robot samurai in the heart of a Japanese mutli national, throwing it to one side, as he does any male asian in the film.  The posters offer some clue, also the Atomic bomb destruction of Hiroshima at the start.
Being curious about this, i decided to investigate further.
What could be going on? 
Is it just a  traditional  action with little to search deeper, is it genuinely racist and sexist...or is the director exploring something else here?
There certainly seems to be repeated themes and imagery which bears looking at closer.
In this post:
  •  i will look at the posters and publicity stills for the film . These often give a clue as to the films intent, since directors and producers advertise to audiences the key points of the movie.
  •  I will look at the film itself
  • the music
  • the script
and the directors back catalogue of films

Big Boy destroys Hiroshima as dropped by the Enola Gay.
Wolverine suffers the fate Japanese civillians suffer, being burned alive by an atomic bomb.

Wolverine as a drifter a 'ronin' a masterless samurai.
Wolverine and a bear: Kindred. Wolverine even slashes a tree over old territorial markings he has made, making fresh ones. The bear follows suit by urinating on the ground near a tree.
The bear is murdered by thoughtless American hunters who trash the forest and shoot the bear with poisoned arrows. Wolverine deals the bear a 'mercy kill'.
Later in the film Wolverine himself is shot with poisoned arrows.
At the end Wolverine deals a 'mercy kill' to his old friend who is wearing a samurai suit with bear like claws . What is he poisoned with?

This is an extremley rough draft thanks for looking. If you have opinions please leave them i always reply.


  1. Having not seen the movie I cannot comment much but I do like Japanese culture especially the 16th century, there attitude to sex has always been very open!

    1. Thanks Francis, its fairly entertaining for an action film, albeit with some huge plot holes , but that's most films now. Did you ever see any Ukiyo-e wood prints? Utamaro was known for doing erotic ones, very beautiful.

  2. With such things as x-men there have always been a racist element within it, kind of shining the light on it. Not sure if it was anything else in there though.

    1. There is definitely a hidden film within a film in this movie, there is too much symbolism and repeated imagery to have it be othrwise.i have to type up a coherent break down though.


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